Friday, September 28, 2007

Phase II Complete

Boris Johnson
Just Ken to go now
I've been a bit distracted by other matters for the last couple of days and somehow missed the announcement that Boris had won the primary to be Conservative candidate in next year's election for London Mayor. Naturally I am unsurprised but pleased nonetheless.

As I posted some time ago, not only do I think that Boris is a good candidate in his own right, more than capable of transcending his current image of amiably buffoonery and delivering a victory over Ken, but also that the campaign which is likely to be at arm's length from conventional party politics might well capture the public imagination and bring much needed engagement with the political process. The BBC however are not pleased, devoting most coverage of reaction to the result to the usual suspects making the usual clumsy, simplistic attacks on Boris' character.

I hope that Boris took notice of the campaigns of at least two of his defeated opponents, and at least considers the possibility of including them in his own mayoral campaign in some way. I thought runner-up, Victoria Borwick's presentation and delivery was excellent, even if her website campaign video did leave me feeling slightly sea-sick. I couldn't say I agreed with all of Andrew Boff's policy suggestions but he certainly showed his quality as an independent thinker and would definitely be an asset in a policy think tank, providing he understood it was in a role where not his entire agenda would prevail. It seems unkind to exclude Warwick Lightfoot, who I'm sure worked very hard, and has the interests of London at heart, but I'm afraid he just never captured my imagination.

While at least on this one front things seem to going the right way for the Conservatives, things seem a little less positive over in the yellow/orange corner. The general line from their leading contender as Mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick seems to have been that he was always a Liberal Democrat supporter, but that it was inappropriate in view of his senior policing role to reveal these political sympathies while still serving on the force. The Sun last week though revealed that he didn't know any Lib Dem policies until after joining the Mayoral contest.

Apparently, once he learned of them he thought they were 'brilliant'. That's a bit of luck for you then Brian. I'm not sure what it says for your decision making process though, but it might explain how some of the more suspect policies of the Met in recent years came about.

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